Evidence-based management in the NHS: is it possible?

The Emerald Research Register for this journal is available at
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
Evidence-based management in
the NHS: is it possible?
Alistair Hewison
School of Health Sciences, University of Birmingham,
Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK
Keywords National Health Service, Evidence-based practice, Management styles
Abstract The rise of evidence-based medicine and more recently evidence-based policy reflect the
increasing importance of evidence as a basis for the organisation and delivery of health care.
Evidence-based practice is central to the “modernisation” of health care in current UK policy. The
latest manifestation of this process is the emergence of evidence-based management in health care.
This paper examines the development of evidence-based approaches in health care and questions
the appropriateness of such an approach to management. The problems inherent in applying the
principles of EBP to management are explored and alternative apporoach based on the notion of
craft is suggesteed as more practical and realistic.
Evidence-based practice (EBP) has been characterised as an “idea whose time has
come” (Harrison, 1998, p. 15). It is an approach which is founded on the principle that
the provision of care and treatment should be based on “scientific” evidence for its
efficacy and effectiveness. Until recently the focus of attention in relation to EBP has
been on clinical care. However of late the need for policy and management to be
evidence-based has also been identified. The purpose of this paper is to trace the
development of EBP and evidence-based policy and demonstrate how this has served
to direct attention to the need for evidence-based management. Once the context for the
emergence of evidence-based management has been established the feasibility of it as
an approach is examined in order to answer the question: Is it possible?
Journal of Health Organization and
Vol. 18 No. 5, 2004
pp. 336-348
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/14777260410560839
Evidence-based practice
Evidence-based practice (EBP) has been defined as “doing the right things right”
(Muir Gray, 1997). This summarises the key elements of EBP, which has developed
from the approach adopted in medicine to generate and use better evidence in the
pursuit of effective patient care. It is in essence an explicit statement of intent and
provides practical methods for overcoming the gap between research and practice
(Reynolds, 2000). Evidence-based medicine has taken off as a major movement in the
UK, principally in the context of clinical governance and the cost-effectiveness of
health care (Hunter, 2003). It is the conscientious and judicious use of best evidence in
making decisions about the care of individual patients (Sackett et al., 1996). An
extensive literature has developed around the purpose and introduction of EBP and it
is not the purpose of this paper to rehearse these areas (see for example Sackett and
Rosenberg, 1995; Muir Gray, 1997; Davies and Nutley, 1999; Nutley and Davies, 2000;
Craig and Smyth, 2002; Stevens et al., 2001). In summary, it is an approach which
draws on “science” and all its modernist trappings of truth and progress and is
presented as rational and politically neutral (Harrison, 1998, p. 21). Consequently the
world of evidence-based medicine is characterised as an abstracted form of pure
rationality where there is a clear hierarchy of evidence with the randomised controlled
trial at its apex (Wood et al., 1998). For its “champions” there is an unshakeable belief in
the capacity of science, and the rational and systematic application of science, to bring
about effective, efficient and accountable practice (Trinder, 2000a).
However this could be regarded as a limited account of EBP and if the context for
the subsequent development of evidence-based management is to be fully appreciated
there is a need to acknowledge that EBP is far from being an uncontested concept.
Indeed Traynor (2002) refers to it as being comprised of “movements” and examines
some of controversies and conflicts that characterise this area. These include
disagreements as to the nature and relative weight of different types of evidence
(Forbes and Griffiths, 2002; Traynor, 2002); the difficulties associated with changing
practice in the light of evidence (Davies et al., 1999; Kitson et al., 1998; Wood et al.,
1998); and concerns about the impact of EBP on professional groups (Wiles and
Barnard, 2001; McInnes et al., 2001). Also although the emphasis in much of the work
addressing EBP is on generating and using research as the primary form of evidence,
there is also a growing recognition of the importance of “best practice” and “expert
consensus”, as other forms of evidence (Kovner et al., 2000; French, 2002; Thompson,
2003). As Kitson (2002) argues, definitions of evidence need to be understood in the
context of establishing effective therapeutic relationships with clients and by
balancing evidence from patients, clinical experience and research in order to make
“best” decisions about clinical care (Kitson, 2002, p. 185). This combination of factors
has served to increase the impetus of EBP and its scope has widened to encompass
other areas of activity in health care.
One example of this is the effect it is beginning to have at the policy level (Black,
2001, Niessen et al., 2000). As Ham et al. (1995, p. 72) have suggested: evidence-based
policy needs to go hand in hand with evidence-based medicine in shaping an NHS fit
for the future.
Evidence-based policy
An extract from Modernising Government (Cabinet Office, 1999) makes it clear that the
development of evidence-based policy is an expectation of the current administration:
This government expects more of policy makers. More new ideas, more willingness to
question inherited ways of doing things, better use of evidence and research in policy
making and better focus on policies that will deliver long-term goals (Cabinet Office,
1999, p. 1). A key driver of modernisation is evidence-based policy making and service
delivery (Sanderson, 2002).
The need to be seen to be making evidence-based policy decisions has permeated all
areas of British public policy (Black, 2001). Evidence-based approaches in health can be
described as health policy and health care delivery driven by systematically collected
proof on the effects of health-related interventions from the health and social sciences
(Niessen et al., 2000). This definition assumes a linear relationship between the
availability of appropriate evidence and change in the practice and organisation of
health care. However this “ideal model” of evidence-based policy making (Sanderson,
2002) is predicated on assumptions rather than reality. As Smith et al. (2001) argue,
although it is fashionable to espouse the virtues of evidence-based policy making, in
which robust evidence about the efficiency and effectiveness of policy proposals plays
a significant role in policy development and implementation, the government’s NHS
management in
the NHS
reorganisation is an “evidence free zone”. Black (2001) also concludes that research
currently has little direct influence on health services policy or government policy.
There are a number of reasons for this. Nutley et al. (2003, p. 3) summarise the four key
requirements that are necessary for improving evidence use in policy and practice
(with emphasis as per original). These are:
(1) Agreement as to what counts as evidence in what circumstances.
(2) A strategic approach to the creation of evidence in priority areas, with
concomitant systematic efforts to accumulate evidence in the form of robust
bodies of knowledge.
(3) Effective dissemination of evidence to where it is most needed and the
development of effective means of providing wide access to knowledge.
(4) Initiatives to ensure the integration of evidence into policy and encourage the
utilisation of evidence in practice.
Each of these requirements can be problematic, for example the hierarchy of evidence
in health care indicates that more value is accorded to some types of evidence than
others. Where would the experience of the consumer or the user figure in this? The
proliferation of different forms of evidence has served to complicate the process of
policy making (Gauld, 2001). Research often raises more questions regarding policy
issues than answers and this presents problems in deciding which evidence to accept.
Research findings are seldom black and white (Donald, 2001) and there are long
standing disputes as to what is regarded as “best evidence” (Forbes and Griffiths, 2002;
Traynor, 2002). One thing that is clear, in the context of EBP, is that the relative weight
accorded to different inputs into the policy process varies between policy areas.
Ideology, expediency and public preferences compete with scientific evidence for the
ears of ministers (Davies et al., 1999).
A strategic approach to knowledge creation involves decisions about which areas of
knowledge and research are important. For example, although nurses constitute the
largest part of the workforce of the NHS the funding allocation to this group for
research has been relatively low (Department of Health, 2000), consequently a “robust
body of knowledge” is still to be developed to capitalise fully on the potential
contribution of this group to knowledge creation in health care.
The processes of dissemination and innovation will be considered in more detail in
the section on evidence-based management, however in policy terms simply providing
the information about best policy will not result in its implementation (Nutley et al.,
2003). Similarly there is not a simple model for innovation (Effective Health Care
Bulletin, 1999) and different approaches are needed in different settings.
There is also a more fundamental issue to be considered here. Hunter (2003)
contends that policy is not a rational, objective, neutral activity devoid of values or the
play of power. Individuals and groups within health care organisations have multiple
and conflicting objectives and interest and their desire to defend these is an important
determinant of policy outcomes. Leicester (1999) recognises that evidence-based policy
making is the exception rather than the rule and lists seven “enemies” of EBP which
prevent its development and implementation which include strong traditions in the
public sector which prevent change; the lack of consensus regarding evidence; the
political nature of health care; and the challenges of time and funding.
In the case of the modernisation agenda of the NHS, the need for consensus
identified by Leicester (1999) and public preference and expediency (Davies et al., 1999)
seem to have come together to produce an impetus for the combination of two strands
of ideology from the past. The combination of collectivist provision and market
approaches, drawn together in the “ideological novelty” (Bradshaw, 2003) of the “third
way”, illustrate the consequence of this aspect of the policy process. This is not
altogether surprising in the context of health policy, as West and Scott (2000, p. 819)
Solutions to problems are not generally designed anew. Ideas and policies swim around,
mutate, metamorphose, reproduce and die in the cultural equivalent of a “primeval soup”.
Policy makers can often find in this pool of ideas a solution that is more or less applicable to
any situation.
It is possible to view this emphasis on evidence-based policy as an outcome of a
continuing process of rationalisation. Reed (1992) contends that rationality can become
a symbol or icon to be mobilized as a critical resource in the continuing struggle to
legitimate certain sectional interests and values as the only proper basis for organised
action and to deny that crucial aura of legitimacy to opposing ideologies (Reed, 1992,
p. 43). Similarly, Clarke and Newman (1997, p. 66) concluded:
The rationalism of managerialism provides a non-partisan (and de-politicised) framework
within which choices can be made. Competing values are reduced to alternative sets of
options and costs and are assessed against their contribution to the organisation’s
The reform of the NHS, and the public sector more generally, has been characterised as
the application of “rational” management principles as a solution to the ills of publicly
administered organisations. Rational management, has almost become a “shorthand”
term to refer to a strand of policy based on the assumption that the processes of
calculation, measurement and strict control of the activity of workers can and should
be used to manage the public sector more effectively (Hunter, 1990; Pollitt, 1993).
While this is not a complete explanation of this trend in policy making (Fox, 1992) it
appears to be a driving force behind the current modernisation agenda in health which
is now having an impact on health care management.
Evidence-based management
Spurgeon (1999, p. 29) has observed that one of the repercussions of evidence-based
medicine may be a challenge to management in terms both of the evidence available
and of the nature and processes of research used to collect the evidence. On one level
this should be a straightforward process because as Reedy and Learmonth (2000,
p. 155) suggest:
. . . the dominant view of what management is . . . sees it as a rational, scientific and
professional activity. From this view of management, it follows that it should be possible to
identify a common core of generic knowledge, techniques and competencies, which are
always applicable no matter what type of organisation is being managed.
However, the reality is more complex than this and in the NHS no real “axiomatic”
management principle has been officially endorsed at either an implicit or explicit level
(Harrison et al., 1992, p. 78). Reedy and Learmonth (2000) also go on to conclude that no
management in
the NHS
consensus regarding the nature and content of management exists. Not only that there
is little sense of a developing body of knowledge in health care management, which
stems from early research that is recognised as the foundation of later work, and from
which major new developments can be traced (Stewart, 1999, p. ix). Yet this has not
exempted health care management from the “repercussions” that Spurgeon (1999)
The impact of managerialism
In a sense this could be regarded as the process of “managerialism” coming full circle.
The impact of managerialism on health care and the public sector more generally is a
relatively recent phenomenon (Pollitt, 1993). It can be defined as a set of beliefs, at the
core of which burns the seldom-tested assumption that better management will prove
an effective solvent for a wide range of economic and social ills (Pollitt, 1993, p. 1). The
policies that were introduced arising from this belief led to the application of
management techniques and major structural changes in health care, in particular the
“internal market” in the NHS (Cutler and Waine, 2000). The cluster of developments
that occurred under the broad rubric of managerialism included an emphasis on
value-for-money and audit (Trinder, 2000b). This ultimately led to demands for
evidence to support clinical interventions and practices in order to inform “purchasing”
The rise of evidence-based management
The key factor in the drive for evidence-based management is summarised by Walshe
and Rundall (2001, p. 451):
There is certainly considerable scope for making better use of research evidence when
deciding how to organize, structure, deliver or finance health services. Managers and policy
makers are on shaky ground if they argue that the principles of evidence-based health care
– which they have advocated so enthusiastically for clinical practice – do not apply to them.
Evidence-based management means that managers should be encouraged to examine
critically the scientific basis for their practice. They should learn to search and
critically appraise empirical evidence from management research as a basis for their
decisions (Axelsson, 1998, p. 313). In a review of the literature which included the term
evidence-based management as applied to health care, Young (2002) found there were
two main categories of interpretation of the term. It was used to indicate the
management of clinical practice based on agreed evidence; and to advocate the
application of the principles of EBP to the practice of management itself. However as
Walshe and Rundall (2001) note, evidence-based management seems to have made
little or no progress in health care when compared with its clinical cousin and they go
on to conclude, we are still a long way from seeing managers make proper use of
evidence in their decision making (p. 437). The nature of management as an activity
means that adoption of the principles of EBP in the same way that they have been
applied to clinical care is unlikely. As noted above, the process of evidence-based
practice is itself problematic and it is questionable whether strict application of the
principles of EBP to management is possible or indeed desirable. In short an
application of the evidence-based approach from medicine to management cannot be
done without some modifications (Axelsson, 1998).
Stewart (2002) argues that the scientific standards required for evidence-based
medicine are rarely feasible in management or even necessary. She goes on to contend
that what is needed is information that is useful in reaching management decisions and
which is as reliable as possible within the constraints of the situation. Thus, in
management, a broad view must be taken of what is meant by current best evidence
(Stewart, 2002). Evidence-based management is primarily a questioning attitude of
mind. The same approach is also part of good management, but one that is too often
neglected. The practice of evidence-based management can provide the impetus to
overcome this neglect (Stewart, 2002, p. 23). Yet she goes on to concede: evidence is
often not as firm as its protagonists claim, and that what is accepted as evidence is
affected by the views of the people concerned (Stewart, 2002, p. 23). Consequently
although there may be a climate where the expectations of EBP are being raised in the
context of management practice, the extent to which real change is occurring is open to
question. Furthermore, there has been a tendency in this managerial and technocratic
age to reduce problems to technical ones, and in effect, to depoliticise them. So defects
in the evidence base can become an excuse or pretext for inaction while further
research is conducted to find the answers, assuming there are answers to be found
(Hunter, 2003).
There are other links between EBP and management. These can be discerned
through reference to the history of management thought. Indeed it has been noted that
a number of techniques that characterise EBP were originally developed in university
business schools. For example decision analysis, cost benefit analysis, decision
modelling and statistical process control (Neuhauser, 2000). Axelsson (1998) also
points to “scientific management” (Taylor, 1911) as an early application of research
evidence to the practice of management. However in seeking such common ground,
cautionary tales are also likely to emerge. Weber regarded the scientific management
developed by Taylor as the height of formal rationality (Ritzer, 2001). While this
development did some “good” things, such as indicating how organisationally efficient
and effective a finite body of rules and techniques that could be learnt and mastered
could be, it was ultimately a disaster. It was too formally rational and generated a
range of dysfunctional effects that outweighed its positive elements. It could not “make
meaning” for people (DuGay, 2000, p. 73). Thus, a “purely business” relationship of this
nature, characterised by a high degree of predictability, turns out to be ethically
irrational because it rejects an interpretation and understanding on the basis of
individual will and personal relationships (Weiss, 1987, p. 156). Thus applying
research evidence needs to be undertaken with caution and incorporate a more detailed
understanding of the work setting arising from experience.
Searching for answers in more recent work has also been advocated. Axelsson
(1998) suggests managers should look for inspiration and support for their decisions in
the empirical literature from management research rather than the popular
management literature (Axelsson, 1998, p. 301). Yet this can be problematic. Briner
(2000) for example found it was not possible to find examples of the explicit adoption of
evidence-based practice frameworks within human resource management in health
care (Briner, 2000, p. 203). Even when “robust” evidence does exist for particular
interventions (clinical) their implementation is not guaranteed. Different interest
groups in the setting interpret the evidence in different ways and attach contrasting
value to it. Also the implementation and innovation processes are social phenomena
management in
the NHS
that do not conform to the “rational” model. The role of social networks, opinion
leaders and the organisational context have all been found to be more influential than
the evidence itself (Dopson et al., 2001, 2002; Nutley et al., 2003; Ferlie et al., 2000; Wood
et al., 1998). If this occurs with clinical evidence the difficulties with the more diffuse
evidence-base of management are likely to be greater. As Axelsson (1998, p. 313)
. . . the empirical evidence on which management can be based will have a different character
compared with the evidence of medical research. Randomized controlled trials are not
possible in the same way in management research. The empirical data also have a more
qualitative character, involving elusive phenomena like values, interests and power.
This would appear to be a key point. There is a paradox in evidence-based
management in that it reflects an aspiration to function along the same lines as
evidence-based practice, and yet it is a qualitatively different activity that needs to
adapt the principles for them to be of any practical value (Stewart, 2002; Axelsson,
1998). There is also a lack of consensus concerning how evidence-based management
should be advanced (Kovner et al., 2000; Short, 2000; Hickey, 2000). The way
evidence-based management develops is likely to have a significant effect on the
organisation and management of health care.
Aside from the problematic nature of “evidence” in management, referred to earlier,
Learmonth (2003) usefully summarises some of the other difficulties when it comes to
utilising evidence as a basis for managerial practice. Much of the work which examines
management is based on a priori assumptions about what managers do, often derived
from standard management texts (Learmonth, 2003, p. 105). This has also been
highlighted by Hales (1986) who found there was no agreed definition of management
work on which to base a cumulative programme of research arising from systematic
study. Similarly there is an extensive literature which demonstrates that that people in
organisations, and managers in particular, do not conform to “textbook” or rational
accounts of management and managing (Mintzberg, 1973; Stewart, 1983; Willmott,
1984; Whitley, 1989). More recently Collins (2002) has suggested that many analyses of
management are intended to give shape to the processes of management while
diminishing the ambiguities inherent in management decision making. As Learmonth
(2003, p. 104) observes: management and medicine are both unchallenged as rational,
broadly beneficial activities carried out by elites within an (unproblematically)
capitalist society. Consequently, starting a debate about how to implement
evidence-based management may be to miss the point. Organisational life is
fragmented and made up of a complex mesh of interpersonal relationships and is not
amenable to the direct application of the precepts of EBP. There are more fundamental
issues concerning the nature of management itself and its purpose in health care that
need to be addressed before the agenda shifts to introducing new ways of working,
which may arise from limited and flawed conceptions.
The concept of craft is a familiar one in managerial practice and can serve as a means
of resolving the tensions inherent in balancing the demands for evidence-based
management and dealing with the reality of health care. The way the term has been
used in the discipline will be examined briefly as a basis for arguing that wholesale
adoption of evidence-based management is not an inevitable or indeed realistic
management in
the NHS
The craft of management
The term “craft” evokes notions of traditional skill, dedication, and perfection through
the mastery of detail (Mintzberg, 1987). Wright Mills (1953) argued that craftsmanship
(sic) as a fully idealized model of work gratification involves six major features:
(1) there is no ulterior motive in work other than the product being made and the
processes of its creation;
(2) the details of daily work are meaningful because they are not detached in the
workers mind from the product of the work;
(3) the worker is free to control his (sic) own working action;
(4) the craftsman is thus able to learn from his work and to use and develop his
capabilities and skills in its prosecution;
(5) there is no split of work and leisure or work and culture; and
(6) the craftsman’s livelihood determines and influences his entire mode of living.
However he concluded that its realisation is impossible for the modern white collar
worker. This set of features is an “ideal type”, ideal in the sense that it represents a set
of characteristics itemising elements of a fully-formed notion of craft (Watson, 1995).
This can then be used to study the phenomenon or situation and serve as a basis for
developing different ways of using it. Wright Mills (1959) carried this work forward
into his own approach to scholarship and research. In later work he advocates what he
terms “intellectual craftsmanship” as a means of conducting sociological inquiry. He
You must learn to use your life experience in your intellectual work continually to examine
and interpret it. In this sense craftsmanship is the centre of yourself and you are personally
involved in every intellectual product upon which you work (Wright-Mills, 1959, p. 211).
This interpretation of craft is also applicable to management practice because, as Short
(2000) observes management remains much more an art form than a science and much
empirical research does not solve management’s problems. Consequently recourse to
the concept of craft holds out the prospect of bringing a “critical“ orientation to health
care management that is more suitable to the needs of its practitioners than a blanket
adoption of EBP.
For example Mintzberg (1987) discusses the craft involved in moulding clay as a
metaphor to explain how management strategy making should be approached. Central
to this is the combination of thought and action, as he observes: No craftsman thinks
some days and works others (Mintzberg, 1997, p. 68). The utility of the concept of
“craft” as a means of conveying the complexity of management is also evident in more
recent work. Watson (1994) suggests that in carrying out their craft managers are
rhetoricians or wordsmiths, using words to make sense of what they are doing and to
persuade others. He goes on to conclude:
Management and management research can both be usefully labelled as crafts. Shaping and
crafting are very similar notions. Managers craft and shape things to get the level and quality
of work tasks done which will enable their organization to continue its business (Watson,
1994, p. 85).
This does not provide answers concerning the overarching purpose of management,
however it does offer the prospect of arriving at more cogent explanations of this
through examination of the reality of management in action.
This represents a particular strand in management thought summarised by Schön
(1991) and it is this view which could conceivably be used to help managers
incorporate the principles of EBP into their work, without advocating its wholesale
adoption. He argues that the manager is a craftsman (sic), a practitioner of an art of
managing that cannot be reduced to explicit rules and theories (Schön, 1991, p. 236).
Rather than applying a series of techniques and seeking evidence for all aspects of their
practice, managers need to blend their tacit knowledge, their experience of the
organisation and the evidence that is available as appropriate as a basis for
management action and decisions. The notion of management as an “intellectual craft”
(Wright Mills, 1959; Watson, 1994) appears to be consistent with the “questioning
attitude of mind” which is seen by Stewart (2002) and Axelsson (1998) as essential for
the advancement of evidence-based management. The rediscovery or surfacing of this
tradition in the context of EBP indicates an alternative line of approach that may be
worth pursuing.
The ultimate aim of all work of this nature in health care ought to be to develop a
“critical practical perspective” (Collins, 2002) on health care management. That is,
subjecting the vocabulary and discourse of management to analysis in order to provide
a critical account of management ideas so that managers and others can come to
understand more about the complexity and ambiguity which surrounds social action at
work (Collins, 2002).
The Chief Nursing Officer for England has argued that there is no single management
approach that can be applied and that the most effective managers are able to apply a
range of approaches in dealing with different situations (Mullally, 2003). Yet there is
little evidence to indicate which approaches work best in which situations. However
managers are likely to be required to provide “evidence” as the modernisation agenda
is taken forward.
The concept of evidence-based practice is constantly being developed. For example
Thompson and Learmonth (2002, p. 235) argue that an evidence-based culture is one
which is totally committed to balanced decisions that give due weight to research
evidence, patient preference, available resources and clinical expertise. This extends
the definition slightly to incorporate other forms of evidence into the “hierarchy”. The
effective combination of these different elements in order to adapt the principles of EBP
to management, will require focused “critical thinking”. Drawing together the work of
Schön and Mintzberg demonstrates that a foundation for this approach exists. The
reflection in action of managers is distinctive in that they operate in an organisational
context and deal with organisational phenomena. They draw on cumulatively
developed organisational knowledge which they transform in the context of some
unique situation (Schön, 1991, p. 265). Managerial culture is pragmatic and value is
placed on the application of ideas, rather than the generation of evidence, and so either
substantial changes in managerial practice are required or adaptation of the ideas of
EBP so that they are more congruent with the existing values and beliefs of managers
(Walshe and Rundall, 2001). Is evidence-based management possible? Not in its pure
form, however the principles can inform a more critical and evidence-aware approach if
incorporated in a broad notion of craft.
management in
the NHS
Axelsson, R. (1998), “Towards an evidence based health care management”, International Journal
of Health Planning and Management, Vol. 13, pp. 307-17.
Black, N. (2001), “Evidence-based policy: proceed with care”, British Medical Journal, Vol. 323,
pp. 275-9.
Bradshaw, P.L. (2003), “Modernizing the British National Health Service (NHS) – some
ideological and policy considerations”, Journal of Nursing Management, Vol. 11 No. 2,
pp. 85-90.
Briner, R. (2000), “Evidence-based human resource management”, in Trinder, L. and Reynolds, S.
(Eds), Evidence-based Practice: A Critical Appraisal, Blackwell Science, Oxford, pp. 184-211.
Cabinet Office (1999), Modernising Government, Cm4310, HMSO, London.
Clarke, J. and Newman, J. (1997), The Managerial State, Sage Publications, London.
Collins, D. (2002), Management Fads and Buzzwords: Critical-Practical Perspectives, Routledge,
Craig, J.V. and Smyth, R.L. (Eds) (2002), The Evidence-based Practice Manual for Nurses,
Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh.
Cutler, T. and Waine, B. (2000), “Managerialism reformed? New labour and public sector
management”, Social Policy & Administration, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 318-32.
Davies, H.T.O. and Nutley, S.M. (1999), “The rise and rise of evidence in health care”, Public
Money & Management, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 9-16.
Davies, H.T.O., Nutley, S.M. and Smith, P.C. (1999), “Editorial: what works? The role of evidence
in public sector policy and practice”, Public Money & Management, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 3-5.
Department of Health (2000), Towards a Strategy for Nursing Research and Development:
Proposals for Action, HMSO, London.
Donald, A. (2001), “Commentary: research must be taken seriously”, British Medical Journal,
Vol. 323, pp. 278-9.
Dopson, S., Locock, L., Chambers, D. and Gabbay, J. (2001), “Implementation of evidence-based
medicine: evaluation of the programme promoting action on clinical effectiveness
programme”, Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 23-31.
Dopson, S., Fitzgerald, L., Ferlie, E., Gabbay, J. and Locock, L. (2002), “No magic targets!
Changing clinical practice to become more evidence based”, Health Care Management
Review, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 35-47.
DuGay, P. (2000), In Praise of Bureaucracy, Sage Publications, London.
Effective Health Care Bulletin (1999), “Getting evidence into practice”, Effective Health Care
Bulletin, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 1-16.
Ferlie, E., Fitzgerald, L. and Wood, M. (2000), “Getting evidence into clinical practice: an
organisational behaviour perspective”, Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, Vol. 5
No. 2, pp. 96-102.
Forbes, A. and Griffiths, P. (2002), “Methodological strategies for the identification and synthesis
of ‘evidence’ to support decision-making in relation to complex healthcare systems and
practices”, Nursing Inquiry, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 141-55.
Fox, N.J. (1992), “Postmodernism, rationality and the evaluation of health care”, The Sociological
Review, Vol. 39 No. 4, pp. 709-44.
French, P. (2002), “What is the evidence on evidence-based nursing? An epistemological
concern”, Journal of Advanced Nursing, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 250-7.
Gauld, R. (2001), “Contextual pressures on health – implications for policy making and service
provision”, Policy Studies, Vol. 22 No. 3/4, pp. 167-79.
Hales, C. (1986), “What do managers do? A critical review of the evidence”, Journal of
Management Studies, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 88-115.
Ham, C., Hunter, D.J. and Robinson, R. (1995), “Evidence-based policy making”, British Medical
Journal, Vol. 310, pp. 71-2.
Harrison, S. (1998), “The politics of evidence-based medicine in the United Kingdom”, Policy &
Politics, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 15-31.
Harrison, S., Hunter, D., Marnoch, G. and Pollitt, C. (1992), Just Managing: Power and Culture in
the National Health Service, Macmillan, Houndmills.
Hickey, M. (2000), “The real issue is culture: moving from relationships to results”, Frontiers of
Health Services Management, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 35-8.
Hunter, D. (1990), “Organizing and managing healthcare: a challenge for medical sociology”, in
Cunningham-Burley, S. and McKeganey, N.P. (Eds), Readings in Medical Sociology,
Tavistock Routledge, London, pp. 213-36.
Hunter, D.J. (2003), Public Health Policy, Polity, Cambridge.
Kitson, A. (2002), “Recognising relationships: reflections on evidence-based practice”, Nursing
Inquiry, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 179-86.
Kitson, A., Harvey, G. and McCormack, B. (1998), “Enabling the implementation of
evidence-based practice: a conceptual framework”, Quality in Health Care, Vol. 7,
pp. 149-58.
Kovner, A.R., Elton, J.J. and Billings, J.D. (2000), “Evidence-based management”, Frontiers of
Health Services Management, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 3-24.
Learmonth, M. (2003), “Making health services management research critical: a review and a
suggestion”, Sociology of Health & Illness, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 93-119.
Leicester, G. (1999), “The seven enemies of evidence-based policy”, Public Money & Management,
Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 5-7.
McInnes, E., Harvey, G., Duff, L., Fennessy, G., Seers, K. and Clark, E. (2001), “Implementing
evidence-based practice in clinical situations”, Nursing Standard, Vol. 15 No. 41, pp. 40-4.
Mintzberg, H. (1973), The Nature of Managerial Work, Harper & Row, New York, NY.
Mintzberg, H. (1987), “Crafting strategy”, Harvard Business Review, July-August, pp. 66-75.
Muir Gray, J.A. (1997), Evidence-based Health Care: How to Make Health Policy and Management
Decisions, Churchill Livingstone, New York, NY.
Mullally, S. (2003), “Visions from the Chief Nursing Officer”, Journal of Nursing Management,
Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 1-4.
Neuhauser, D. (2000), “The challenge of evidence-based management”, Frontiers of Health
Services Management, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 39-44.
Niessen, L.W., Grijseels, E.W.M. and Rutten, F.F.H. (2000), “The evidence-based approach in
health policy and health care delivery”, Social Science & Medicine, Vol. 51 No. 6, pp. 859-69.
Nutley, S. and Davies, H.T.O. (2000), “Making a reality of evidence-based practice: some lessons
from the diffusion of innovations”, Public Money & Management, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 35-42.
Nutley, S., Davies, H. and Walter, I. (2003), “Evidence-based policy and practice: cross sector
lessons from the UK”, keynote paper for the Social Policy Research and Evaluation
Conference, Wellington.
Pollitt, C. (1993), Managerialism and the Public Services, 2nd ed., Blackwell Business, Oxford.
Reed, M. (1992), The Sociology of Organization: Themes Perspectives and Prospects, Harvester
Wheatsheaf, New York, NY.
Reedy, P. and Learmonth, M. (2000), “Nursing managers, transformed or deformed? A case study
in the ideology of competency”, Journal of Management in Medicine, Vol. 14 No. 3/4,
pp. 153-65.
Reynolds, S. (2000), “The anatomy of evidence-based practice: principles and methods”, in
Trinder, L. and Reynolds, S. (Eds), Evidence-based Practice: A Critical Appraisal, Blackwell
Science, Oxford.
Ritzer, G. (2001), Explorations in Social Theory From Metatheorizing to Rationalization, Sage,
Sackett, D.L. and Rosenberg, W.C. (1995), “The need for evidence-based medicine”, Journal of the
Royal Society of Medicine, Vol. 88 No. 11, pp. 620-4.
Sackett, D.L., Rosenberg, W.C., Gray, J.A., Haynes, B. and Richardson, W.S. (1996),
“Evidence-based medicine: what it is and what it isn’t”, British Medical Journal, Vol. 312
No. 13, pp. 71-2.
Sanderson, I. (2002), “Evaluation, policy learning and evidence-based policy making”, Public
Administration, Vol. 80 No. 1, pp. 1-22.
Schön, D.A. (1991), The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action, Arena,
Short, J.H. (2000), “A counter proposal on evidence-based management”, Frontiers of Health
Services Management, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 27-34.
Smith, J., Walshe, K. and Hunter, D.J. (2001), “The ‘redisorganisation’ of the NHS”, British Medical
Journal, Vol. 323, pp. 1262-3.
Spurgeon, P. (1999), “Organisational development: from a reactive to a proactive process”, in
Mark, A.L. and Dopson, S. (Eds), Organisational Behaviour in Healthcare: The Research
Agenda, Macmillan Business, Houndmills, pp. 25-34.
Stevens, A., Abrams, K., Brazier, J., Fitzpatrick, R. and Lilford, R. (Eds) (2001), The Advanced
Handbook of Methods in Evidence-based Health Care, Sage, London.
Stewart, R. (1983), “Managerial behaviour: how research has changed the traditional picture”, in
Earl, M.J. (Ed.), Perspectives on Management: A Multidisciplinary Analysis, Oxford
University Press, Oxford, pp. 82-98.
Stewart, R. (1999), “Foreword”, in Mark, A.L. and Dopson, S. (Eds), Organisational Behaviour in
Healthcare: The Research Agenda, Macmillan Business, Houndmills, pp. ix-xi.
Stewart, R. (2002), Evidence-based Management: A Practical Guide for Health Professionals,
Radcliffe Medical Press, Oxford.
Taylor, F.W. (1911), The Principles of Scientific Management, Harper, New York, NY.
Thompson, C. (2003), “Clinical experience as evidence in evidence-based practice”, Journal of
Advanced Nursing, Vol. 43 No. 3, pp. 230-7.
management in
the NHS
Thompson, C. and Learmonth, M. (2002), “How can we develop an evidence-based culture?”, in
Craig, J.V. and Smith, R.L. (Eds), The Evidence-based Practice Manual for Nurses, Churchill
Livingstone, Edinburgh, pp. 211-39.
Traynor, M. (2002), “The oil crisis, risk and evidence-based practice”, Nursing Inquiry, Vol. 9
No. 3, pp. 162-9.
Trinder, L. (2000a), “A critical appraisal of evidence-based practice”, in Trinder, L. and
Reynolds, S. (Eds), Evidence-based Practice: A Critical Appraisal, Blackwell Science,
Oxford, pp. 212-41.
Trinder, L. (2000b), “Introduction: the context of evidence-based practice”, in Trinder, L. and
Reynolds, S. (Eds), Evidence-based Practice: A Critical Appraisal, Blackwell Science,
Oxford, pp. 1-16.
Walshe, K. and Rundall, T.G. (2001), “Evidence-based management: from theory to practice in
health care”, The Millbank Quarterly, Vol. 79 No. 3, pp. 429-57.
Watson, T.J. (1994), “Managing, crafting and researching: words, skill and imagination in
shaping management research”, British Journal of Management, Vol. 5, pp. 77-87.
Watson, T.J. (1995), Sociology Work and Industry, 3rd ed., Routledge, London.
Weiss, J. (1987), “On the irreversibility of western rationalization and Max Weber’s alleged
fatalism”, in Whimster, S. and Lash, S. (Eds), Max Weber Rationality and Modernity,
Unwin Allen, London, pp. 154-63.
West, E. and Scott, C. (2000), “Nursing in the public sphere: breaching the boundary between
research and policy”, Journal of Advanced Nursing, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 817-24.
Whitley, R. (1989), “On the nature of managerial tasks and skills: their distinguishing
characteristics and organization”, Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 210-24.
Wiles, R. and Barnard, S. (2001), “Physiotherapists and evidence-based practice: an opportunity
or threat to the profession”, Sociological Research Online, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 1-18.
Willmott, H.C. (1984), “Images and ideals in managerial work: a critical examination of
conceptual and empirical accounts”, Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 21 No. 3,
pp. 349-68.
Wood, M., Ferlie, E. and Fitzgerald, L. (1998), “Achieving clinical behaviour change: a case of
becoming indeterminate”, Social Science & Medicine, Vol. 47 No. 11, pp. 1729-38.
Wright Mills, C. (1953), White Collar, Oxford University Press, New York, NY.
Wright Mills, C. (1959), The Sociological Imagination, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth.
Young, S.K. (2002), “Evidence-based management: a literature review”, Journal of Nursing
Management, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 145-51.